Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Methodist Women's Health Services

Services - Mental Health

Men, Women and Stress

Women and men react to stress in very different ways. Unlike the "fight or flight" response common among men, women usually "tend and befriend" when they encounter stressful events. The "tend" response refers to a woman's instinct to care for or protect her children, or those she nurtures. The "befriend" response refers to the social support women seek.

For more information about managing stress or to schedule an appointment, call 713-790-3333.

Maintaining Mental Health

The importance of good mental health can never be overstated. "Good mental health" entails everything from managing stress to building healthy relationships to treating clinical disorders. In this day and age, however, it's getting increasingly easy to overlook activities that are vital to achieving and maintaining positive mental well-being.

A prime example of this is the way Americans, and women in particular, manage stress. Although the vast majority (73 percent) realize that stress has a negative impact on their overall health*, few pursue options they believe will reduce stress. Houston Methodist Hospital is taking strides to change this trend. We understand that women and men deal with stress and anxiety differently, and Houston Methodist provides solutions tailored to fit your exact situation.

Postpartum Depression

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, postpartum depression affects approximately 13 percent of new mothers. Symptoms are similar to those of general depression, including sadness, sleep and memory problems, low self-esteem, and feeling worthless or overwhelmed. Many women blame themselves for these feelings and believe themselves to be "bad mothers;" however, scientific research indicates that postpartum depression can be caused by the drop in estrogen, progesterone, and (in some cases) thyroid hormones that occurs after childbirth. The stress of adjusting to life with a new child can also bring about postpartum depression, especially when combined with other factors such as hormonal changes. The most important thing for every woman to remember is that postpartum depression is highly treatable. Counseling and medication therapy are both effective therapies for restoring your mental health and quality of life - a benefit to both you and your baby.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Physician Referral and Health Information Line at 713-790-3333.

* Stress in America, American Psychological Association, October 24, 2007